More Americans Pay for Online Streaming Than Traditional TV

Man watching tv.

Man watching tv.

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to watch a two-hour movie and have it last for four hours solely because every five minutes you get to watch another five minutes worth of commercials. A game or an episode of your favorite show is no longer a short, relaxing par of your evening. It’s your whole evening, which brings to light why online video alternatives such as Netflix and HULU are now more popular than the traditional cable or satellite TV.

No More TV

For the first time, there are more people now paying for online video services than there are people paying for traditional TV. According to a survey done by Deloitte, the percentage of people who pay for internet video has increased almost exponentially while the percentage of people paying for traditional TV has slowly been dropping over the past years. [1]

Currently, 69 percent of consumers pay for online streaming services while only 65 percent pay for a type of cable or satellite TV. This shift to online video versus the regular TV is most prominent in younger generations the survey found. In Gen Z- those currently aged 14 to 21- 80% subscribe to internet video and only 57% of Gen Z subscribes to traditional TV. Among millennials, or those between the ages of 22 and 35, 88% subscribe to Internet video and 51% to TV.

The top reason many decide to pay for online video rather than TV is getting access to original programming according to Deloitte’s data although 44% said that they switched to online video to avoid advertising.

Maybe too Many Choices

In total, 43% of all U.S. consumers pay for both, traditional TV and online video. On average, everyone who pays for online video is subscribed to three separate streaming sites.

“With more than 300 over the top video options in the U.S., coupled with multiple subscriptions and payments to track and justify, consumers may be entering a time of ‘subscription fatigue,’” Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. telecom and media and entertainment leader at Deloitte, said in the report. Companies will have to “keep a close eye on consumer frustrations, including advertising overload and data privacy concerns.” [2]



  1. ^Cord Cutting Hits Another Record With More Bad News For Cable Providers.” Fortune, 19 Mar. 2019, (go back  ↩)
  2. ^For the First Time, More Americans Pay For Internet Video Than Cable or Satellite TV.” Fortune, 19 Mar. 2019, (go back  ↩)

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